Lex Friedman blogs here.

Lex is the EVP of Sales and Development for Midroll, the world's best podcast advertising network.

He was previously Macworld's senior writer, and continues to contribute to the publication. He is the cohost of the Not Playing podcast, a cohost of the Turning This Car Around podcast, a cohost of the The Rebound podcast, and the sole host of the Your Daily Lex podcast.

Lex's first book, The Snuggie Sutra, is exactly what it sounds like. His most recent book is a Dr. Seuss parody for adults; it's called The Kid in the Crib.

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How to tame unruly hotel WiFi for your iPad

I’m in Santa Monica for work this week. Last night, I left my laptop at the office, taking just my iPad and my iPhone back to The Georgian Hotel¬†where I’m staying. The Georgian provides free WiFi for its guests.

Like many WiFi providers, The Georgian redirects all web traffic to a login page until you authenticate. The hotel provides each guest with the WiFi username and password at checkin. (It’s always the same username — “guest” — and password for everyone.)

The web form that the Georgian uses wasn’t behaving like a good iPad citizen. For some reason the iPad didn’t like the Javascript on the login form; when I clicked the login button, nothing would happen beyond locking up the interface for a moment.

My iPhone, however, could login with no problem.

As many WiFi providers do, the Georgian’s system has a special link for VPN users. Clicking that link merely provides you with a static, public IP address, making VPN access easier.

That was my in.

Using my iPhone, I took advantage of the VPN/static-IP option, and logged in. Then I went into the Settings app and tapped on the network connection to see its details.

On my iPad, I went into Settings and tapped into the Georgian’s network, but instead of leaving the default “DHCP” option enabled (where you get provided with an IP address by the network), I switched to “manual” mode, where you tell the network exactly what IP address you want.

I painstakingly copied the IP address (and subnet, router, and DNS information) from my iPhone onto the iPad.

And as you’ve guessed, it indeed worked. From then on, I could surf the Internet on my iPad without a hitch. As a pre-caution, I logged out of the network on my iPhone, and then reconnected it without the VPN option. That way, I could avoid having two devices trying to share the same IP address.

Posted on May 5th, 2010